JACKSON COUNTY NEWS RELEASE
October 17, 2023
Public Comment Sought for County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan
Jackson County has completed an updated draft of its Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) and is now seeking public feedback. Like all Minnesota counties, Jackson County is vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards such as tornadoes, windstorms, severe winter storms, flooding, drought, and extreme temperatures, which can threaten the loss of life and property in the county. Planning for natural disasters minimizes the impact of events that can cause vast economic loss and personal hardship.
All county residents, as well as other interested agency or organizational stakeholders are strongly encouraged to review and offer feedback on the interactive website, PDF of the draft plan, and proposed local mitigation actions. The review and comment period is open for a period of 15 days through Tuesday, October 31, 2023. The public can access the plan using the following links:
The Jackson County HMP is a multi-jurisdictional plan that covers Jackson County, including the cities of Alpha, Heron Lake, Jackson, Lakefield, Okabena, and Wilder. The Jackson County HMP also incorporates the concerns and needs of townships, school districts, and other stakeholders participating in the plan.
Update of the plan has been under direction of Jackson County Emergency Management in cooperation with U-Spatial at the University of Minnesota Duluth and representatives from county departments, city and township governments, school districts, and other key stakeholders. Together, the planning team worked to identify cost-effective and sustainable actions to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life or property from natural hazards. Examples include improvement of roads and culverts that experience repetitive flooding; construction of safe rooms in areas where residents and visitors are vulnerable to tornadoes and severe storm events; burying powerlines that may fail due to heavy snow, ice or wind storms; ensuring timely emergency communication to the public through warning sirens and mass notification systems; and conducting outreach to increase public awareness of severe weather and personal preparedness.
Hazard mitigation planning helps Jackson County and other jurisdictions protect their residents. Working with local communities through the process helps identify vulnerabilities and develop strategies to reduce or eliminate the effects of a potential hazard. In addition, increasing public awareness of natural disasters and encouraging personal preparedness helps to create a community that is resilient to disaster, and breaks the cycle of response and recovery. Updating the plan further allows Jackson County and its jurisdictions to be eligible to apply for future FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant program funding for projects that help to reduce or eliminate the impacts of future natural hazard events.
Community feedback is vital to the success of the plan. Jackson County invites public review and feedback of the draft plan prior to submitting it to the State of Minnesota and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review. Feedback may be provided via the online comment forms or directly to Jackson County Emergency Management.
Jackson County Emergency Management Director